Atayef is the general name of the dessert as a whole, but more specifically, the batter. The result of the batter being poured onto a round hot plate appears similar to pancakes, except only one side is cooked, then folded. The pastry is filled with either unsalted cheese or a mixture of any of hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, pistachios, dates or coconuts . It is then fried or, less commonly, baked and served with a hot syrup .
For Atayef Batter
- 2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup Samolina
- 3 cup warm water
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbs corn starch
- 1 tsp instant dry yeast
- 3 tbs sugar
- Place all ingredients in blender and blend till incorporated. Pour batter in a big bowl. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes .
- After resting pour onto heated nonstick pan or iron flat sheet. Pour in the desired size of circles, about 2 tbsp. Cook the batter on one side only till the bottom golden brown and the bubbles on the top appear to have dried out.
- Cool on a clean kitchen cloth or on a wire racks bottom side down
- Remove the finished cakes from the skillet and repeat till all quantity is finished. Allow to cool completely before filling.
To make Cheese filling, you need :
- 1 disk of Queso Fresco white cheese or any white cheese crumbled and soaked in cold water for couple of hours to get rid of salt – change water few times during soaking.
- 2 tsp nigella seeds (habet il barakeh) optional.
- Finely ground Mistka (optional )
Mix filling ingredients and set aside.
For walnuts Filling, you need :
- 2 cups roughly chopped walnuts
- 4 tbsp sugar
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground Cloves
Place all ingredients in a bowl, and mix to incorporate.
How to fill Atayef :
- Place 1 tsp crumbled cheese, or walnuts filling in the center of each Atayef circle.
- Fold the sides over to touch at the centre. Squeeze firmly with your fingers to seal and continue until you have sealed all sides in the shape of a half moon. Repeat till all desired quantity is filled. If you have extra cheese filling, or walnuts filling, place in a tightly sealed glass container in the fridge for up to 5 days for cheese and a month or more for walnuts. Or in the freezer.
How to cook Atayef :
- Simply brush both sides of atayef with vegetable oil, place in a baking dish and bake till crisp, turning once throughout. Or place them on a nonstick pan and fry them on the top of the stove until golden brown. Dip them in sugar syrup and serve. ( I prefer to eat them hot, especially the cheese once )
- Cooked atayef can be refrigerated for up to 4 days. Uncooked, filled atayef can be frozen till ready to use for up to 1 month. Just thaw before frying or baking.